“How do you do it all?” I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have been asked that question in my lifetime. If you’re a veteran reader over here in all of my chaos you know that I’m a woman of many trades. Having so many tasks on my plate makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get things done.
Not only do I homeschool and run a blog (or three), but I also run my own Etsy shop and virtual assistant business. My go-to response seems to always first be “Well, basically I’m psychotic and run on coffee…” and then I laugh to make it seem like I’m joking even though deep down I really am questioning my sanity these days.
Then I get serious and give my real answer:
“I don’t do it all!”
Don’t get me wrong, I try to do it all. I mean, I really really try. But in all honesty – If one part of my life is thriving then that generally means another part is seriously hurting due to a lack of attention. That’s because, it’s not possible to do it all!
Let me repeat that for you so that it can really sink in…
It’s. Not. Possible. To. Do. It. All.
When your focus is 100% dedicated to keeping the house running smoothly, and making sure your kids are getting a good education, that will literally suck up all of your time. Forget having a social life, job or even hobbies. (Friends? What are those?! Just kidding! Sort of…?)
If you devote all of your attention to running a business and having a social life, then your house is probably going to be on the next episode of “Hoarders” and your children will be running around like crazy little people all day because, NO SCHOOL!! (Or maybe that’s just my house? I digress..)
No matter how hard I try, it’s not possible for me to get everything done that I’ve loaded onto my plate all on my own.
I can however tell you 5 different strategies I use to help me get things done (as much as possible).
1. Enlist Some Help
I’m not that perfect super mom who does literally everything for her family. I’m not trying to raise a little army of completely dependent human beings here people. My children WILL be smart, independent, and hardworking humans someday! That means I’m not waiting on them hand and foot all day. I’m putting them to work and not settling for lazy!
Here are some of the ways I have my family help me out in our home:
- My kids are responsible for their own messes and do plenty of chores around here.
- My husband helps in our homeschool by teaching the girls their History and Science lessons, one subject per day (rotating subjects), 4 days a week.
- After dinner, I “go to work” and make everyone pretend mommy isn’t home until bedtime. That’s when I’m able to focus on my business and/or my blogs (whatever is getting the attention at that time).
2. Stay Organized
Being organized is crucial to getting anything done as a multi-tasking mom. Having a cluttered, messy home and mind drives me absolutely crazy, which makes everything seem much more chaotic than it really is.
When the house seems to be getting out of hand, I simply try to spend 10 minutes every day eliminating clutter, making sure everything I touch has its own place. After a week of this, there’s a huge difference in my home!
To keep my mind clear of the millions of thoughts always jumbled in my head, I carry around a notebook that I use to brain dump. If I have a thought that needs to be remembered later, I dump it in the notebook so I can forget about it until I check my notes later.
3. Have a Plan
It’s literally impossible to be a homeschooling mom who also works without having some sort of plan. In the past I’ve written about how I’ve become a planner girl in the past and how it has helped my homeschool. This still rings true today!
I have multiple planners and each have their own purpose. Without these planners I’d get nothing done! Whether you are a functional planner or a glam planner doesn’t matter. Just have a plan and stick to it!
4. Take Time Out for Myself
Living a life that is all work and no play will cause anyone to go crazy. It’s so important for me to have time to myself doing something I enjoy, whether its crashing in front of the TV at the end of the night, or a weekend getaway with my best friend to see our favorite band once or twice a year.
Everyone needs time to decompress and relax, moms included! If you want to be successful in anything, you have to learn how to balance work with play.
When its impossible to complete the entire to-do list for the day, I have to remember to prioritize. I’ll grab a highlighter and mark the most important stuff so I know what to tackle first.
When the first priorities are marked complete, I can then spend any additional time I have finishing as many tasks as possible.
Remembering that my family always comes first makes the prioritizing pretty easy!
Even while using all of the above mentioned strategies, its still impossible to accomplish everything that needs to be done. Sometimes it can be really disheartening and cause me to feel like I’m failing.
I have to remember that at the end of the day, it’s really okay if I’m not accomplishing all of the goals I have set out for myself. What matters the most is that I’m trying as hard as I can to be the best mom, wife, friend, etc that I can be – and that’s good enough.
This post is part of the “Question’s I’m Asked About Homeschooling” Link Up Party at iHomeschool Network which begins on May 30, 2016. Click on the image below to see more posts from other homeschool bloggers about this topic!